Apple Butter to Balls

Last time, I showed you an example of the “steal the first sentence” technique.  This time, I want to share an example of using a physical cue as a writing prompt. I have used this tool many times to shine a light on memories that have been lost in the shadows.  Sometimes those memories merge with fiction, and stories are born that would never have been told without that initial prompt.

Here is a short, mostly first draft, that I just wrote using apple butter as a prompt.  It made me laugh to see where it landed… 

Apple butter reminds me of Colonial Day at Brookline Elementary.  It reminds me of hand-dipped candles and cutout profile portraits, like Abe Lincoln and George Washington.  Apple butter reminds me of butter cookies, and handloom weaving and parchment paper.  It reminds me of tables pushed together to make stations around the lunchroom, and teachers dressed up like Little House on the Prairie.  

I wonder what happened to my pink, hand-dipped, Colonial Day candles.  They used to be treasure.  I remember that mom visited the stations with me that day, and I think we had candy apples.  I know we had hard candy cherries with green plastic stems.  I remember they hung in pairs, like balls.  

5 comments

  • harry

    harry

    shocking ending. intriguing images until then. triggering memories of my own grade school experience. also has me thinking about some of alex's fonder moments from her elementary school times. thanks for the morning wakeup reading

    shocking ending. intriguing images until then. triggering memories of my own grade school experience. also has me thinking about some of alex's fonder moments from her elementary school times. thanks for the morning wakeup reading

  • Denise

    Denise

    That was how the ending came out and it made me laugh, so I kept it. From the feedback I am getting this morning, it seems that it is the women who think it is funny. Sorry to shock you David. :). I am glad you liked the other images. That was my first year in a new school, and overall it was not a good experience. Colonial Day was a highlight. Thanks for reading along!

    That was how the ending came out and it made me laugh, so I kept it. From the feedback I am getting this morning, it seems that it is the women who think it is funny. Sorry to shock you David. smile. I am glad you liked the other images. That was my first year in a new school, and overall it was not a good experience. Colonial Day was a highlight. Thanks for reading along!

  • Denise

    Denise

    Oops Harry, I blew your cover...

    Oops Harry, I blew your cover...

  • alisa

    alisa

    Hee hee, funny! As a child in the Philadelphia area, I remember I got so weary of constant moldy old Colonial overload at school. Your lighthearted memories are much better! :) Also, I just want to say that I wish I could leave comments on other sections of your site too, since I'd love to LOUDLY applaud your album's awesome and well-deserved review at No Depression (yay!!!), your upcoming birthday show with Anne Hills (woooo!), and the ingenious-sounding workshop you've cooked up, which I wish I could attend (can you do distance-learning? hee). Hurray you!!! :) xo

    Hee hee, funny! As a child in the Philadelphia area, I remember I got so weary of constant moldy old Colonial overload at school. Your lighthearted memories are much better! smile

    Also, I just want to say that I wish I could leave comments on other sections of your site too, since I'd love to LOUDLY applaud your album's awesome and well-deserved review at No Depression (yay!!!), your upcoming birthday show with Anne Hills (woooo!), and the ingenious-sounding workshop you've cooked up, which I wish I could attend (can you do distance-learning? hee). Hurray you!!! smile xo

  • Denise

    Denise

    Thanks Alisa! You made me smile. I appreciated the support. For some reason, I was charmed by Colonial Day. I liked all of the hands on things like weaving and candle making. Stay tuned about the distance learning. I will be developing an internet version of this workshop, and I will be sure to let you know about it. Thanks again for cheering me on. Much appreciated!

    Thanks Alisa! You made me smile. I appreciated the support.

    For some reason, I was charmed by Colonial Day. I liked all of the hands on things like weaving and candle making.

    Stay tuned about the distance learning. I will be developing an internet version of this workshop, and I will be sure to let you know about it.

    Thanks again for cheering me on. Much appreciated!

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